Is there still any hope of restoration of the church before the Lord Jesus returns? The church of the Lord Jesus is divided to the very core, but who is doing anything about it? Are we satisfied with this situation? Who still believes in an all-encompassing breakthrough that would unify the church once again? Every effort to unify the church in the Netherlands, Western Europe and the United States has failed. In fact, unity does not arise by striving for one world church in which the Truth no longer really matters. Nor does it emerge from staying where you are, just hoping that ultimately everyone will agree with you and your church.
I am convinced that there are only two ways that unity will come. These are the two ways that the Lord Jesus gave us. The first is that the Lord Jesus wants to bring His Church together by blowing a clarion call:
“Wake up everybody! You are in great danger!” In doing so Jesus addresses everyone without regard to the church of which they happen to be a member. This book accepts and explains the message of alarm from the Head of the church. The common danger in which we find ourselves must indeed bring us together. Just as in times of high water when storm the call goes out: “The dikes are about to give way, come to the dikes to protect them!” that will be heeded by everyone living below sea level. It is the common danger that causes people to forget all their differences and feuds. Standing guard together unifies! May you thus obey the call that Jesus sent forth when He sat on the Mount of Olives and spoke about our time.
Sharing a common sense of hope is the second way to put an end to divisiveness. Hope not only brings life, it also causes us to work together. The judgment of fire, as prophesied, will undoubtedly come upon the earth, to be followed by the Kingdom of God. Only a clear prospect of the King and His Kingdom gives rise to a strong desire for these. And a strong desire for Him will also unify us. The hope makes us strive to be ready for the coming of the King. Who can then still keep busying themselves with their own dogma and insights? Only God’s will and His truth can remain. All human fads and fancies, hair-splitting and traditions that have rusted into place disappear like snow on a sunny day when we focus on the future as it is sketched out in God’s Word. Hope is the second thing that can reestablish unity in the church. This book passes on the hope that can unify us once more.
“And every one who thus hopes in him (to see Him when He is revealed by his return; inserted by author.) purifies himself as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3)
The book you now hold seeks to prepare you for the coming events. It is God who reveals what the church needs. Your job, and mine, is to take the revealed Word very seriously. God’s Word is the truth.
I have tried to write this book with the insight that God gave me in Jesus’ direct message in relation to His return and His Kingdom. Read the book with an open heart. It is my desire that you would test this book against the Word of God and that you receive it in the same spirit in which the people of Berea received the words spoken by Paul. It says of them that after hearing him speak:
“they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11b)
Do also as the Jews in Berea: search the scriptures daily and be prepared to change your thinking when that is necessary.
Usually it is also good to know some history, because how else can you know whether prophecy has been fulfilled? So, in addition to searching the scriptures, search history as well. My prayer is that this book will put an end to all the confusion there is about the end times, with so many different visions.
I have made thankful use of the knowledge of others and, above all, of the insight that believers had in the past. Our faith-filled ancestors have, for example, had a great deal of insight into the identity of the antichrist.
Although some translations of the Word are a closer approximation of the original source text, sometimes the language is rather antiquated. This is why I have chosen to use mainly the Revised Standard Version of the Bible in English. Especially for young people this version has made the Bible easier to understand. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to Bible texts are taken from this version.
My desire and prayer is that this book will give you more insight into God’s all-encompassing plan of salvation. And that you would also see connections between the cautionary words Jesus proclaimed sitting on the Mount of Olives, and the restoration of Israel according to the prophets, together with what is written in the book of Revelation.
“May the Lord our Father give that you will be lead by the Holy Spirit while reading, considering and digesting the substance of this book, in the Name of our Lord Jesus.”
Nieuw-Lekkerland, the Netherlands